All About Cannabinoids
Just the word “cannabinoid” sounds intimidating. It might just be me, but all I can think about is a cannabis droid when I hear it. As cool as a little weed robot would be, that’s not what cannabinoids really are. If you’ve ever wondered about CBD versus CBG versus THC but can’t find an article that lays it out in human language, you’re in the right spot. Here’s a quick and painless introduction to cannabinoids– what they are, what they do, and anything else you need to know.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. There’s a ton of them and they link up to your body’s endocannabinoid receptors, producing a bunch of different effects. The two most well known cannabinoids are CBD and THC, but there’s a lot more and they vary from strain to strain. They really make each smoke unique, knowing more about them can help you pinpoint what you’re looking for and know what to avoid.
Wait… WTF is the endocannabinoid system?
It’s pretty crazy, but our body has a whole endocannabinoid system that is responsible for binding to cannabinoids– like we evolved alongside them. Research on the endocannabinoid system is pretty new, but so far we know that it plays a role in regulating things like sleep, appetite, and mood. Even if you don’t smoke, your endocannabinoid system is still very much functioning. There are two main endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mostly found in your central nervous system, and CB2 is in your peripheral nervous system. Say you’re having a really bad headache. Endocannabinoids would target CB1 receptors in the nerves of your head to make the pain go away.
So what’s the difference between THC and CBD?
Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the long name for THC. This is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high and producing psychoactive effects. Smoking flower high in THC will probably give you red eyes, cottonmouth, and slow down your reaction times. THC can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it really powerful. Full transparency– high THC strains can definitely make some people feel anxious. THC is highly regulated, as of the 2018 Farm Bill growers can only have under .3% of it in their plants to be considered legal hemp. Since it’s such a tiny amount, it’s safe to say that any products you buy containing a legal amount of THC won’t produce much of any psychoactive effects.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the other big cannabinoid that people know about. It’s in our slim hemp pre-rolls, nano hemp drink mix, and a bunch of other stuff at your local health food store. It doesn’t get you high, but CBD still produces noticeable effects on your body. Remember how THC can make some people feel anxious? CBD is pretty much known for easing anxiety and stress. Since there’s no psychoactive high, you don’t have to go into a session worried about what’s going to happen to you. Some other things CBD is known to help with are pain relief, chronic migraines, sleep issues, and depression, just to name a few. That being said, CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors the same way that THC does. Researchers are still trying to figure out why that is– it might just bind to a receptor that we haven’t found yet.
Any others I should know about?
Researchers have identified about 100 cannabinoids present in the plant, so we won’t bore you by listing out every single one. One that we’ve been stoked on lately is cannabigerol, or CBG. Interestingly enough, CBG is the precursor to other cannabinoids, like CBD and THC. This happens when enzymes from the hemp plant break down CBG and direct it into one of the other categories of cannabinoid. Like CBD, CBG is non-psychoactive. It won’t get you high, but it won’t make you sleepy like CBD is sometimes known for. CBG is a happy medium for feeling chill, but not sluggish. If you’re curious about it, we’ve got some Hemp CBG Flower for sale.
Hopefully, this dive into the world of cannabinoids made the topic a little less daunting. Just remember that each cannabinoid has its own effects, making each strain of flower its own, unique experience.